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What is Vindaloo? Everything You Should Know About This Indian Dish

Vindaloo is one of the most widely-used recipes in Indian culture! It can be made with meat or vegetarian, so you can switch up the ingredients depending on your dietary needs. It’s a perfect meal for busy families or to put on when you have dinner guests. 

What is Vindaloo?

So, what is vindaloo? Vindaloo is one of the most popular Indian dishes that originated in the Goa region of India. It’s a heavily spiced dish that can be vegetarian or that can contain things like pork, chicken or tofu. Indian vindaloo tends to be fiery hot and spicy due to the chilies!

Common Vindaloo Ingredients:

Before you get started cooking your Indian vindaloo, you’re going to have to have the right ingredients! Typically, vindaloo is made up of vindaloo sauce, which is usually made from caramelized onions, curry paste, coconut milk, vinegar, ginger, chilies, jalapeno, garlic, chickpeas, lentils, and other spices like garam masala, salt, pepper, paprika, and turmeric. 

If you’re looking to add more texture or ingredients to your Indian vindaloo, you could add chicken breasts, tofu, or even more veggies like zucchini, potatoes, and bell peppers. You could also adjust the amounts of chilies and jalapeno you put in depending on how spicy you like your food!

Dried red chili on a plate

Which Vindaloo Spices to Use

When making vindaloo, the most important ingredients are arguably the spices. The most common spices to use in vindaloo are:

  • Ginger
  • Cumin
  • Ground yellow mustard seeds
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Ground cloves
  • Turmeric
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Paprika
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Other ingredients that you might use are ghee, dried tamarind, lemon juice, and brown sugar. If you’re in a pinch, you could always take a shortcut and buy Sukhi’s Vindaloo Sauce.

Sukhi's Vindaloo Curry Sauce

How Is Vindaloo Made?

Vindaloo can be made a number of ways depending on how much time you have! 

  1. If you’re using Sukhi’s Vindaloo Sauce, then all you do is add 1.25lbs of meat or veggies, the sauce, and one cup of water in a saucepan. Combine the ingredients and mix well. Simmer on medium-high heat until the chicken is cooked and a thick gravy is formed.
  2. If you have an Instant Pot, you can follow this quick recipe by Two Sleeves and have a meal ready to go in just 30 minutes!
  3. If you’re looking to make it from scratch, you could use this recipe from Whisk Affair:
    1. First, you would dry roast your chilies, coriander seeds, whole spices, cumin, and mustard seeds till fragrant and slightly browned.
    2. Blend them up with tamarind, garlic, ginger, and vinegar to make a paste. 
    3. Heat oil in pan and saute your chopped onions
    4. Add chicken and cook 3-4 minutes
    5. Add tomato puree and paste
    6. Add salt, turmeric, and water and then cook for around 45 minutes. 
    7. Add a little sugar and cook for another minute.
    8. Serve!

No matter how you decide to make your vindaloo, most of the key ingredients stay the same. Find a way that works for you and your family. 

What to Serve with Vindaloo?

So, you’ve made your Indian vindaloo — now what? There are many tasty sides to serve with your curry. Here are some of the most popular ways to serve your vindaloo:

  1. Naan bread
  2. Basmati rice
  3. Potatoes
  4. Chappatis
  5. Wraps

More Popular Indian Dishes:

While you’re at it, try one of our other recipes or learn more about Indian cuisine!

  1. Chicken Vindaloo Wraps
  2. Holiday Pinwheels
  3. Curry Guide
  4. Grilled Naan Pizza
  5. Basics of Spices: Part One
  6. Basics of Spices: Part Two


5 Responses to What is Vindaloo? Everything You Should Know About This Indian Dish

  1. S. Weiner 7 months ago at 5:36 am #

    LOVE your Chicken Vindaloo!!! Its unfortunate that it cannot be found in Portland Oregon.

    • Prerna Singh 7 months ago at 1:04 pm #

      Oh no! We’d love to help you find a place around you that carries Sukhi’s Chicken Vindaloo. Can you share your zip code with us?

    • John 1 month ago at 9:56 am #

      You can, or at least used to be able to find it in the PDX area. We bought some about 7 or 8 years ago, most likely from a Safeway or Albertsons store in the Hillsboro area or the (then) Lamb’s Thriftway market in Wilsonville. We no longer live in Oregon, but I did not open it until recently as it got lost in the back of a cupboard, but it was still good.

      • Tom M 4 weeks ago at 12:07 pm #

        They have it at Costco in Aloha, Or. We bought it recently. Thanks for the recipe. We’re going to try and use it as paste on a brisket that we’re going to smoke for 10-12 hours. Will report back how it turns out!

        • Prerna Singh 3 weeks ago at 11:23 am #

          That sounds DELISH! waiting to know how your briskets turned out 🙂

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